• Kyodo

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The number of households on welfare reached a record 1.62 million in October, up 3,287 from a month earlier, government data showed on Wednesday.

The number of recipients came to 2.17 million, up 3,484 from September, marking the second-highest total ever, according to the data from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The number of recipient households consisting of persons aged 65 and older stood at 761,593, accounting for 47 percent of the total.

The number of “other households,” which include people who are able to work but are on welfare, came to 280,525, while that of single-mother households was 108,881.

A ministry official said that while the number of “other households” had been declining every month since June due to an uptick in the economy, it increased in October for the first time since last May.

The Abe administration plans to cut the total amount of welfare benefits beginning in April by revising payouts for housing and heating, to reduce government spending.